BUTTERFLY

I confess to thinking that at some point the Edmonton Oilers would have these No. 1 overalls firing live ammo into the soft white underbelly of Canada’s west—allowing me ample joy and license to once again be an idiot. Like the olden days, when an Oilers fan had a hammer for every conversation. It was kind of a ‘get out of jail free’ card because the push back (Steve Smith, 1989) didn’t match the Oilers’ fan counter attack (99, 11, Stanley’s annually, on and on and on).

We’re coming on five years since Taylor Hall was drafted and he looks like an extra in Papillon these days.

  • Taylor Hall: “Hopefully, we come back rejuvenated and all pointing in the same direction. The season is – I couldn’t imagine a worse start to the year than we’ve had.” Source

Yes. Well put, young man. It’s been a disaster and it really does make one wonder about the wisdom of ‘looking forward’ to Connor McDavid doesn’t it? The question I have this morning is this:

  • If ‘it’s the goaltending stupid’ and this team is dead in the water (and they are), then the right plan of action is to play out the season, sign Petry, audition worthy minor leaguers, watch the waiver wire, deal off excess at the deadline. Right?

Bob Nicholson can forensic to his heart’s content, peel back onions every hour on the hour, walk down the hallway and stink eye every Mother’s Son he can find, but the business of the Oilers continues. There are important things that must be addressed. I think the Oilers keep their powder dry on the goalie, it’s only a 20% chance of McDavid but at this point they’re going to get him or Eichel and that’s a monster.

I do think they have to stop looking at the draft (alone) as the solution though. One of MacT’s biggest mistakes (imo) has been at center, where he simply didn’t address the situation at all. The fact that he remains (in his most recent media avail) stubborn on this issue does not bode well for his summer. It’s completely possible—I’ll argue probable—the GM simply drafts McDavid or Eichel and considers his summer work at center complete.

Surely they’ve learned it’s a bad way, but with these generational talents hanging around, I think it’s a done deal. We should expect it.

NHL: NHL Draft

  • Elliotte Friedman: The Oilers will continue to look for centres, defencemen and a goalie, and I asked around to see who might be a fit should they decide to try something significant. There were a lot of votes for Pittsburgh, with a plethora of young defenders. One exec said if he was Edmonton, he would target Brandon Sutter, although he added he thinks the Penguins hold on to Sutter until the salary cap makes it impossible for them to do so. But you know who got a couple of votes? Florida. It’s a good theory: cap room, a need for wingers and two promising defence prospects — 2012 first-rounder Michael Matheson and 2013 second-rounder Ian McCoshen, both at Boston College (McCoshen will be at the world juniors for Team USA). Anyway, worth watching. Source

The WJ’s this season have many many players worth watching, add those two to the pile. I think Edmonton should be looking for established NHL defensmen though, the prospect cupboard is full. As for Brandon Sutter, I’d be disappointed if he were the significant portion of any deal. That’s not a player you acquire in a package for Taylor Hall, if Craig MacTavish makes that trade he’ll be out of work in a heartbeat.

nelson todd

  • Elliotte Friedman: One AHL coach on what to expect from a Todd Nelson group: “Good cycle team that moves in the offensive zone with all five players, three (of them) high. Come through neutral zone with good structure, and try to pressure you before you set up in d-zone coverage. They have the (number two) power play in league, with quick puck movement, player movement and…outnumber you to the net for rebound goals.”

I’m not like these really smart people who see structure and systems, for me it’s a case of watching and getting a feel for things (plus paying attention to the math). Edmonton does seem to have a little more structure and maybe get an extra rebound here or there but the defensive maladies and the jailbreak forwards who shoot the gap and leave their D stranded on breakouts still exist. Plus it’s the goaltending, stupid.

CORSI FOR EV % BY GAME, TODD NELSON

  • December 16 @ARI 58-68  46%
  • December 18 @SJS 47-48 49%
  • December 21 vDAL 53-84 39%
  • December 23 vARI 38-49 44%

A team usually sees a spike when a new coach takes over but in this case the erosion of even-strength play remains (Eakins had that part of the game established with this group) and of course special teams is a shiv every. damn. night. If they trade Petry this could get very ugly.

Note: I’ll have two more posts today, noon and 5pm as I finish up the Top 20. There will be a 21-30 and 31+ post on the weekend/early next week and we’ll have that wrapped up by the New Year. No show today, back on the air Saturday for SSE at noon and I’ll have the Oilers—Flames GDT up tomorrow morning bright and early.  WJ updates will be here and at ON this week.

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67 Responses to "BUTTERFLY"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “As for Brandon Sutter, I’d be disappointed if he were the significant portion of any deal. That’s not a player you acquire in a package for Taylor Hall, if Craig MacTavish makes that trade he’ll be out of work in a heartbeat.”

    With all due respect, etc., etc., …

    The logic behind the statement doesn’t hold water.

    1. It is reasonable to assume Bob N has taken a significant interest in any and all moves going forward.

    2. It is reasonable to assume D. Katz takes a significant interest in any massive roster changes (we do have reporting that he (may have) intervened in the Yakupov situation and there was some talk that he axed a deal structured around Gagner-Clifford as back history).

    I think it is fair to say if MacT trades Hall, he’s been given the green light by those up stream on the details of the trade.

    Those folks can certainly fire MacT. But I don’t see them firing him for making a bad Hall trade they most likely ok’ed, if not pushed for. That doesn’t make any sense.

    Of course, they may fire him anyway, and that may coincide with a Hall trade and we may end up weaving a tale about the Hall trade being MacT’s downfall… but I won’t believe it. I refuse to believe MacT is free to deal Hall without the go ahead from Katz and Bob N.

    (I’ve left Lowe out, I remain largely alone in believing has been in a purely advisory role since MacT took over).

    ——–
    Mind… the question of whether such a bad trade would mean MacT’s downfall in the broader sense of how everyone feels about his competence as a GM is altogether a different question from one about his current job security.

  2. cahill says:

    Thanks for everything LT. You make being an Oiler’s fan a little easier.

    5 things I hope for in the new year.
    1. The Oiler’s finish last. Perhaps it will spark change throughout the organization. I think McEichel are players not even the Oiler’s can mess up.
    2. Sign Petry
    3. Trade Ference
    4. Buy-out Nikitan
    5. Play Lander & Marincin

  3. Spilt Milk says:

    Hi Lowetide, Finishing 30th does not guarantee McDavid or Eichel, with 3 lottery draws this year, the last place team could pick as low as 4th.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Rom: I think MacT has to get full value for Hall (and I doubt he will) or that’ll be all she wrote. Your premise relies on Katz ignoring things like empty seats and implies a lack of desire for change on Katz’ part.

    At this point, I suspect it’s reasonable to assume he’s contemplating change in a real way.

  5. Halfwise says:

    I keep fishing for explanations for years of Oiler team ineptitude, and as my previous theories keep crumbling under the weight of evidence I am left with this.

    The way the Oiler organization makes decisions is the way that Kevin Lowe makes decisions: Emotional, fierce, focus on the immediate, full commitment, and if you disagree Vish will cross-check you even harder.

    KL hires people that way. The one time he was convinced to act more prudently, he ended up with Tambo. Won’t do that again…

    So he can hire MacT his way, and MacT can hire Eakins that way, and the scouting staff can be hired and kept that way.

    The future of the Oilers is capped by KL’s decision making style. The present and the past of the Oilers is a reflection of KL’s decision making style, imitated through the organization.

    When KL’s decision making style is no longer in vogue, the team may begin to turn north. Or some other direction, who knows, because removing a flawed decision making style is no guarantee that it will be replaced by a competent one.

    LT, thank you for this site and your hard work. This blog does far more to sustain my interest in the Oilers than the Oilers themselves do.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Spilt Milk:
    Hi Lowetide, Finishing 30th does not guarantee McDavid or Eichel, with 3 lottery draws this year, the last place team could pick as low as 4th.

    My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that the lottery winner jumps to No. 1 overall and all others bump down by one slot.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=728795

    The 2016 draft begins the top three being slotted.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Halfwise:
    I keep fishing for explanations for years of Oiler team ineptitude, and as my previous theories keep crumbling under the weight of evidence I am left with this.

    The way the Oiler organization makes decisions is the way that Kevin Lowe makes decisions: Emotional, fierce, focus on the immediate, full commitment, and if you disagree Vish will cross-check you even harder.

    KL hires people that way. The one time he was convinced to act more prudently, he ended up with Tambo. Won’t do that again…

    So he can hire MacT his way, and MacT can hire Eakins that way, and the scouting staff can be hired and kept that way.

    The future of the Oilers is capped by KL’s decision making style. The present and the past of the Oilers is a reflection of KL’s decision making style, imitated through the organization.

    When KL’s decision making style is no longer in vogue, the team may begin to turn north. Or some other direction, who knows, because removing a flawed decision making style is no guarantee that it will be replaced by a competent one.

    LT, thank you for this site and your hard work. This blog does far more to sustain my interest in the Oilers than the Oilers themselves do.

    Thanks for the kind words. The reason that will not go away? Goaltending. This team, as is, with a .910 SP is FAR better than their current record. It’s the goalie.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: I think MacT has to get full value for Hall (and I doubt he will) or that’ll be all she wrote. Your premise relies on Katz ignoring things like empty seats and implies a lack of desire for change on Katz’ part.

    At this point, I suspect it’s reasonable to assume he’s contemplating change in a real way.

    But these are two different ideas.

    1. Katz fires MacT because MacT has led the team into such a bad situation that a Hall trade is both seriously explored and perhaps undertaken. He is fired regardless of the return.

    2. Katz fires MacT for bungling the Hall trade. Katz either endorsed a trade, but gave MacT the freedom to eff it up on execution, or Katz gave MacT complete independence and Katz hates the deal.

    It may seem like hair-splitting, but in case 1 Katz fires MacT for incompetence. In case 2 Katz fires MacT for a bad Hall trade.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: But these are two different ideas.

    1. Katz fires MacT because MacT has led the team into such a bad situation that a Hall trade is both seriously explored and perhaps undertaken. He is fired regardless of the return.

    2. Katz fires MacT for bungling the Hall trade. Katz either endorsed a trade, but gave MacT the freedom to eff it up on execution, or Katz gave MacT complete independence and Katz hates the deal.

    It may seem like hair-splitting, but in case 1 Katz fires MacT for incompetence. In case 2 Katz fires MacT for a bad Hall trade.

    I see. I don’t think MacTavish gets fired based on current performance, and I don’t see how he gets enough from a Hall trade to survive. An owner can both approve of a trade AND fire the GM because it doesn’t work out. Happens all the time.

  10. leadfarmer says:

    Spilt Milk,

    The only correct portion of this post is Hi Lowetide. That lottery format doesn’t start until next year although I bet Bettman wishes he did it this year

  11. Halfwise says:

    Lowetide: The reason that will not go away? Goaltending. This team, as is, with a .910 SP is FAR better than their current record. It’s the goalie.

    And the goaltending was a choice, a decision by management on who should be on the roster and another decision on who should be the starter despite who looked more ready during TC, and another decision on who should be the goalie coach and another decision on who should be on the ice in front of the goalie.

    You mentioned the other day that they make decisions based on something other than winning. True enough. They want to win (in some time frame) but when given all the facts and odds and alternatives they value factors that aren’t important in the NHL of today. I guess being the smartest men in the room will do that.

    Nicholson will state some findings but the thread that ties them all together is “what was management thinking and why did they stick with their choices despite reality clubbing them in the head season after season?” It has to come down to one or two very stubborn people at the top.

  12. SaintGeorge says:

    Lowetide, I love you, and I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning, but I’m going to have to stop. The Oilers simply aren’t worth anyone’s time anymore. If you start to write about other teams, I’ll be back (remember how you almost went Columbus back in the day?), but as long as the current group is in charge, I’m going to watch the world juniors and then use the extra time to play with the kids, read some books, and get some more exercise.

    My advice to you and your readers is to do the same.

    Good luck, happy new year, and godspeed.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Halfwise: And the goaltending was a choice, a decision by management on who should be on the roster and another decision on who should be the starter despite who looked more ready during TC, and another decision on who should be the goalie coach and another decision on who should be on the ice in front of the goalie.

    You mentioned the other day that they make decisions based on something other than winning. True enough. They want to win (in some time frame) but when given all the facts and odds and alternatives they value factors that aren’t important in the NHL of today. I guess being the smartest men in the room will do that.

    Nicholson will state some findings but the thread that ties them all together is “what was management thinking and why did they stick with their choices despite reality clubbing them in the head season after season?” It has to come down to one or two very stubborn people at the top.

    Agreed, although I do think it’s important to note many of us (including me) thought the Scrivens-Fasth tandem would be good enough to push toward 20th overall.

  14. Lowetide says:

    SaintGeorge:
    Lowetide, I love you, and I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning, but I’m going to have to stop.The Oilers simply aren’t worth anyone’s time anymore.If you start to write about other teams, I’ll be back (remember how you almost went Columbus back in the day?), but as long as the current group is in charge, I’m going to watch the world juniors and then use the extra time to play with the kids, read some books, and get some more exercise.

    My advice to you and your readers is to do the same.

    Good luck, happy new year, and godspeed.

    All the best, absolutely respect your decision.

  15. Halfwise says:

    Lowetide,

    I was one of the many of us. Some other choices by management might have made that bet a better one.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: I see. I don’t think MacTavish gets fired based on current performance, and I don’t see how he gets enough from a Hall trade to survive. An owner can both approve of a trade AND fire the GM because it doesn’t work out. Happens all the time.

    I’ll consent to that. But I don’t think it happens as quickly as you originally suggest.

    If Katz ok’s a deal, presumably he sees it as upgrading the team in some way… because, after all, he ok’ed it.

    It’s going to take some time for the Hall-Sutter deal to appear to a guy who thinks it is a good idea as a bad idea.

    Once Katz realizes it… sure, he could fire MacT for selling him on a bad deal. Afterall Katz isn’t an evaluator of hockey talent and he relied on MacT’s advice.

    But, I can’t see him saying one day: “yea, that looks good. we need a center and we need to change our culture” and the very next day saying: “shit. this trade is shit. fuck”

    That’s why this doesn’t make sense to me:

    ” if Craig MacTavish makes that trade he’ll be out of work in a heartbeat.”

    Katz isn’t going to greenlight something and then fire a guy for doing it. Not until he’s had some time to realize how bad the idea was.

  17. Esa10 says:

    2014 cannot end quick enough for an Oilers fan. Hopefully 2015 is better.

    Not that I am endorsing a hall trade but I feel like the islanders would be the best partner not the Penguins.

    Think About it:
    1. Hall and Tavares are friends
    2. Islanders moving to Brooklyn.
    3. They may have turned a corner and can justify adding pieces.
    4. They have prospect depth galore.

    They could trade a combination of reinhart/ strome/ Nelson/ dal colle/ pulock.

    would that be a package worthy of hall?

  18. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’ll consent to that. But I don’t think it happens as quickly as you originally suggest.

    If Katz ok’s a deal, presumably he sees it as upgrading the team in some way… because, after all, he ok’ed it.

    It’s going to take some time for the Hall-Sutter deal to appear to a guy who thinks it is a good idea as a bad idea.

    There’s where we disagree. Daryl Katz is very big on the power of public opinion, that’s why (imo) they overruled the scouts and took Yakupov. A trade approved by Katz and Nicholson that is a disaster in the court of public opinion AND shows poorly early next season (and trading Hall for three lesser bulbs suggests that’s very possible) and MacT could be out of work by this time next season.

  19. Rod from Viking says:

    If the rumors are true that Boston is hot to get Taylor Hall, why not a Hall and Ference for Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, Boston gets the best player right now but Lucic would add that element needed in the top six and Hamilton is going to be a right shooting stud on the back end for the next decade.

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: There’s where we disagree. Daryl Katz is very big on the power of public opinion, that’s why (imo) they overruled the scouts and took Yakupov. A trade approved by Katz and Nicholson that is a disaster in the court of public opinion AND shows poorly early next season (and trading Hall for three lesser bulbs suggests that’s very possible) and MacT could be out of work by this time next season.

    Oh. See, we don’t disagree at all then.

    If, “in a heartbeat” means “around Christmas” next year, we’re talking anywhere from a few months (Summer trade) to several (deadline trade).

    I thought you meant “a matter of days to at the most a couple of weeks.”

    I completely agree about the public perception point. I think it is one of the sad reasons the Oilers have never really questioned the “character” drum beat that seems to guide their decision making. It is echoed perfectly by most hockey commentators and decision makers.

    It’s one of the ways a bad team can isolate itself from constructive criticism.

    Their MSM critics all say they are crappy (true). But, they can’t for the life of them come up with why.

  21. Halfwise says:

    Rod from Viking:
    If the rumors are true that Boston is hot to get Taylor Hall, why not a Hall and Ferencefor Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, Boston gets the best player right now but Lucic would add that element needed in the top six and Hamilton is going to be aright shooting stud on the back end for the next decade.

    Not to mention how much Lucic would LOVE more visits to play in front of Canuck fans…

  22. Lowetide says:

    Rod from Viking:
    If the rumors are true that Boston is hot to get Taylor Hall, why not a Hall and Ferencefor Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, Boston gets the best player right now but Lucic would add that element needed in the top six and Hamilton is going to be aright shooting stud on the back end for the next decade.

    I hate that trade. I hate ALL of the trades.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Oh. See, we don’t disagree at all then.

    If, “in a heartbeat” means “around Christmas” next year, we’re talking anywhere from a few months (Summer trade) to several (deadline trade).

    I thought you meant “a matter of days to at the most a couple of weeks.”

    I completely agree about the public perception point. I think it is one of the sad reasons the Oilers have never really questioned the “character” drum beat that seems to guide their decision making. It is echoed perfectly by most hockey commentators and decision makers.

    It’s one of the ways a bad team can isolate itself from constructive criticism.

    Their MSM critics all say they are crappy (true). But, they can’t for the life of them come up with why.

    Yep.

  24. godot10 says:

    Eakins was always behind. MacT/Nelson mostly ahead, with heartbreak endings. So score effects account for most of the Corsi difference.

    Eakins improved his Corsi by always being a goal down.

  25. kinger_OIL says:

    Lowetide,

    STGeorge: I expressed the same sentiments before, but I found my relationship with the OIL is like Micheal Corleone’s relationship with the “business” in the Godfather: “just when I thought I was out, they pull you back in”. Anyway, merry christmas and happy holidays to everyone, and god bless our putrid oilers but more so Lowetide for his prose and his collection of miscreants posters who help light up this blog!

  26. Ryan says:

    Halfwise:
    I keep fishing for explanations for years of Oiler team ineptitude, and as my previous theories keep crumbling under the weight of evidence I am left with this.

    The way the Oiler organization makes decisions is the way that Kevin Lowe makes decisions: Emotional, fierce, focus on the immediate, full commitment, and if you disagree Vish will cross-check you even harder.

    KL hires people that way. The one time he was convinced to act more prudently, he ended up with Tambo. Won’t do that again…

    So he can hire MacT his way, and MacT can hire Eakins that way, and the scouting staff can be hired and kept that way.

    The future of the Oilers is capped by KL’s decision making style. The present and the past of the Oilers is a reflection of KL’s decision making style, imitated through the organization.

    When KL’s decision making style is no longer in vogue, the team may begin to turn north. Or some other direction, who knows, because removing a flawed decision making style is no guarantee that it will be replaced by a competent one.

    LT, thank you for this site and your hard work. This blog does far more to sustain my interest in the Oilers than the Oilers themselves do.

    This. Very well-articulated!

    I think, for the reasons you’ve stated, the question of how much actual involvement Kevin Lowe has in the day-to-day roster decisions involving the team is irrelevant. He’s created the culture of Kevin Lowe in this organization replete with a fly by the seat of your pants hiring process that’s neither compatible with creating a winning organization nor modern business practices.

    When in doubt, promote the next guy in line from within the organization…

    Then there’s the separate issue of retaining or even promoting guys with proven track records of failure within the organization itself (Bucky and Lowe) if they used to wear an Oilers jersey.

    For these reasons, I think that this organization will need a massive overhaul to finally turn north.

    A reasonable staring point would be to try to pry management from successful organizations like the Sharks…Detroit, etc… From all levels…

  27. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    (I’ve left Lowe out, I remain largely alone in believing has been in a purely advisory role since MacT took over).

    ——–
    Mind… the question of whether such a bad trade would mean MacT’s downfall in the broader sense of how everyone feels about his competence as a GM is altogether a different question from one about his current job security.

    Bob Pulford was mostly in an advisory role for over a decade. The Blackhawks didn’t get better till he was OUT of the building.

    Lowe should resign. We can have a tearful #4 jersey raising ceremony where everyone forgets the bad GM and remembers the good player and Hall pulls of a #4 revealing a #44…a la Bourque and Esposito.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Slepyshev with a goal and an assist in today’s Spengler Cup (this is via Patricia Teter’s twitter)

    http://www.spenglercup.ch/tl_files/images/A_OnSite2014/26-12/IHM003T01_74_3_0.pdf

  29. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide,

    LT, You said “at this point, I suspect it’s reasonable to assume he’s contemplating change in a real way.”

    I think that’s a fairly sane and rational assumption to make. The idea of a Taylor trade (loathe the person, love the player… a few too many bad experiences in Kingston…) actually terrifies me, in no small part because the trust between management and fans has been broken. I’ve been a MacT backer since his playing days when I was a child in the 80s/90s all the way up to now, but I can’t see him actually getting even close to 75 cents on the dollar for Hall. Sutter is not going to help the team win now or 5 years from now. Taylor still can. It’s a losing proposition no matter how it’s spun, no matter who is making the call (Bob N, Mac, Daryl, even Vish). If Taylor goes, it will be another long 5 years regardless of who is making decisions from above.

    godot10:
    Eakins was always behind.MacT/Nelson mostly ahead, with heartbreak endings.So score effects account for most of the Corsi difference.

    Eakins improved his Corsi by always being a goal down.

    Godot, please don’t ever change.

  30. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide,

    Very very nice.

    Slepy-Yak2-Yak in

  31. John Chambers says:

    The Chambers Plan:

    1) Antoine Vernette for 2C. Money and term get it done, probably 4×4. It’s not perfect, but it does allow a) Centre depth of RNH – Vermette – Gordon – Drai – McEichel, and b) allows you to move Drai or McEichel and Arcobello to the wing.

    Ultimately Gordon has just a single year left on his deal, so the longer term plan would be to run Vermette as the D-zone specialist, permitting Drai and McEichel to take the Ozone draws.

    2) trade Yak or Eberle along with Schultz for the best available defenseman. I would kick myself for saying this three months ago, but if Yak + Schultz can be converted into Fedor Tyutin and Jenner, or Tyler Myers and Grigorenko I think you need to mix it up.

    3) Sign Boychuk. NHL quality 2-3 defenseman. Play him alongside Marincin or Klefbom and run an RD lineup of Boychuk, Fayne, and Petry next season.

    4) Maybe this should be #1, but sign Antti Niemi. Another 4×4 contract like Vermette. We’ve learned that a starting goalie is too damn valuable to ignore.

    If management executed these four actions, I think we would actually be a playoff team. For ever and a day the Oilers have been billed as a young team, and that needs to soon end. Veterans who want to and know how to win NHL games.

  32. Woodguy says:

    I hope Santa left each Oiler a giant pile of shit.

    Then they would be able to give a shit in the games for the rest of the year.

  33. godot10 says:

    Eakins’ Corsi also benefited from the absence of Gazdic, and the presence of Pouliot. Nelson has not been so fortunate.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    I hope Santa left each Oiler a giant pile of shit.

    Then they would be able to give a shit in the games for the rest of the year.

    Haha. Woodguy. Made me laugh.

  35. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    Eakins was always behind.MacT/Nelson mostly ahead, with heartbreak endings.So score effects account for most of the Corsi difference.

    Eakins improved his Corsi by always being a goal down.

    WARNING: SMALL AND INFINITESIMAL SAMPLE SIZES AHEAD

    Score adjusted Fenwick under Eakins this year: 48.1% (21st in NHL)

    Score adjusted Fenwick under MacNelson so far: 45.2% (25th in NHL from Dec 15-Dec 26)

    Or

    Corsi Tied under Eakins: 51.6% 15th in NHL

    Corsi Tied under MacNelson: 50% 17th in NHL

    I tried to find CorsiClose or FenClose with a date range, but waronice only had tied, up 1, down 1 etc.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Devils fired DeBoer. Eakins?

  37. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide,

    my guess would be the Walrus (McLean – Not Holmgren or Reid)

  38. stephen sheps says:

    Woodguy,

    best post of the week. perhaps the month even.

  39. El Duderino says:

    Halfwise: And the goaltending was a choice, a decision by management on who should be on the roster and another decision on who should be the starter despite who looked more ready during TC, and another decision on who should be the goalie coach and another decision on who should be on the ice in front of the goalie.

    You mentioned the other day that they make decisions based on something other than winning. True enough. They want to win (in some time frame) but when given all the facts and odds and alternatives they value factors that aren’t important in the NHL of today. I guess being the smartest men in the room will do that.

    Nicholson will state some findings but the thread that ties them all together is “what was management thinking and why did they stick with their choices despite reality clubbing them in the head season after season?” It has to come down to one or two very stubborn people at the top.

    I strongly agree with all your views posted today. Lowe’s presence permeates-emotional, illogical, stubborn. It all points to him. He knows naught about building a winning team. The proof is in the pudding.

  40. Khlhfs says:

    Woodguy,

    I appreciate the advanced numbers as much as anyone on this blog. With that said I don’t care how good Eakins Corsi numbers were it didn’t matter because his team was not going to the net. I’ll take a team that goes to the net with lower Corsi numbers everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. Eakins was coaching to out Corsi teams and not to score and that’s why the offense under him couldn’t piss a drop despite some gaudy shot totals at certain times.

  41. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy: WARNING: SMALL AND INFINITESIMAL SAMPLE SIZES AHEAD

    Score adjusted Fenwick under Eakins this year: 48.1% (21st in NHL)

    Score adjusted Fenwick under MacNelson so far: 45.2% (25th in NHL from Dec 15-Dec 26)

    Or

    Corsi Tied under Eakins: 51.6% 15th in NHL

    Corsi Tied under MacNelson: 50% 17th in NHL

    I tried to find CorsiClose or FenClose with a date range, but waronice only had tied, up 1, down 1 etc.

    With Eakins, I believe I calculated the oilers were
    trailing 44%
    tied 40%
    leading 16%
    of the time at even strength

    Since A.E. ( After Eakins)
    trailing 13%
    tied 49%
    leading 38%
    of the time at even strength

    Corsi since A.E.
    trailing 55.3%
    tied 50%
    leading 32.8%

    Corsi is about the same at each score effect, it is just that the weight of the score effects is different as the oilers are not trailing as much. They have actually scored a few goals before the oppostion. Shocker I know. But they find a way to blow it. Like a Corsi of 9.5% against Dallas the other night when up by 2 goals.

    But this is such a small sample size.

    So much work for this team to crawl out of the basement of the basement

  42. sliderule says:

    The hockey writers has a post on all the drafted players playing in WJC by NHL team.

    Sharks ,red wings and Hawks each have five players.

    The Jets have six which shows how their drafting is improving since move to Wpg

    Their are 94 drafted players playing and the oilers have two.You might say they should have three as Leon should be playing.This would put them just below the average.

    The oilers have to figure out how to solve their drafting before next June.I can’t see them able to replace their scouting staff in season so they should switch some of their pro scouts to covering the juniors.They have to replace Stu or take the decision making on picks from him and turn it over to Green or Mact at least till they can find a new head scout.

    Leave all the trades for players like Eberle and Perron till after the draft when they will be able to get value.

    Forget about trading Hall as they will lose big time on that one.

  43. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    The hockey writers has a post on all the drafted players playing in WJC by NHL team.

    Sharks ,red wings and Hawks each have five players.

    The Jets have six which shows how their drafting is improving since move to Wpg

    Their are 94 drafted players playing and the oilers have two.You might say they should have three as Leon should be playing.This would put them just below the average.

    The oilers have to figure out how to solve their drafting before next June.I can’t see them able to replace their scouting staff in season so they should switch some of their pro scoutsto covering the juniors.They have to replace Stu or take the decision making on picks from him and turn it over to Green or Mact at least till they can find a new head scout.

    Leave all the trades for players like Eberle and Perron till after the draft when they will be able to get value.

    Forget about trading Hall as they will lose big time on that one.

    I don’t think Yakimov or Slepyshev are eligible, Chase didn’t make it but was invited to camp. Marco Roy is a guy we can point to, but I’m not sure anyone else can be held up as disappointing.

    Edmonton’s fourth round pick from 2014 is there. That’s impressive.

  44. El Duderino says:

    godot10: Bob Pulford was mostly in an advisory role for over a decade.The Blackhawks didn’t get better till he was OUT of the building.

    Lowe should resign.We can have a tearful #4 jersey raising ceremony where everyone forgets the bad GM and remembers the good player and Hall pulls of a #4 revealing a #44…a la Bourque and Esposito.

    Pulford is an excellent example. And further, Bill Wirtz had to die before Pully was finally out. Stubborn. rigid, old fashioned. Also see Greg Millen, Al Davis, Harold Ballard.

    These, ladies and gentlemen are your Edmonton Oilers. Oh the shame and the pain.

  45. dangilitis says:

    I agree with all you say lt. However what if they did draft Eichel or McDavid and then had rnh draisaitl McDavid and Gordon up the middle? Yes many youth but how else do you incorporate these guys in the lineup? That’s a dilemma. I guess playing winger didn’t hurt seguin but I’m not sure that sending a generational talent back to junior is the right play (although I hear Eichel wants to finish college?) and not sure that playing as a winger in the rookie season is the right play. A chipchura for insurance would be clever for sure but I don’t think you want to overpay or spend too much effort at center when the d and goaltending situation is more dire. Ideally all are addressed but one smart goalie pick up would be the best single move they could make in he next 9 months, no?

  46. dangilitis says:

    Ps with respect to your point about Mact drafting and then resting, that is the like the creation of the sun. He shouldn’t rest until the sabbath…

  47. Spilt Milk says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks LT, happy to be wrong, come on 30th,

  48. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    I think Yak and Slepy were our only two that played last year.

    The thing I found impressive is the number of later picks that the teams I mentioned have playing.

    The Hawks have several later picks playing for USA an area the oilers don’t pick from since Stu.

  49. VanOil says:

    My fix for Center is a couple of reasonable bets, while waiting for Draisaitl and the next wunderkid to be ready;

    Trade Schultz + Gernat + 2016 1st for Tyler Myers + Grigerenko
    Trade Fasth (or the return for Fasth) for the rights to Sobotka

    One of Grigerenko or Sobotka are like to be an NHL Center next. Having too many Centers and competition for the role would be an odd feeling.

    My fix for Defense;

    Acquire Myers as above
    Sign Petry

    The Right side of the defense would then have 3 NHL players able to shelter the youth brigade on LHD and suffer through the remnants of the buy out brigade (Nitikin, Ference) until brighter days come.

    My fix for Goal tending;

    Start practicing Voodoo or outsource it all (coaching included) to the Finns as they seems to understand it.

  50. godot10 says:

    If the Oilers actually get McDavid or Eichel, they should still look at getting a veteran centre, and put Draisaitl up for auction in a trade for a D, or send Draisaitl to the AHL for a season…i.e. put Draisaitl back on the proper development path, which should have been CHL this year, AHL next year, and NHL when ready.

  51. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Lowetide: There’s where we disagree. Daryl Katz is very big on the power of public opinion, that’s why (imo) they overruled the scouts and took Yakupov. A trade approved by Katz and Nicholson that is a disaster in the court of public opinion AND shows poorly early next season (and trading Hall for three lesser bulbs suggests that’s very possible) and MacT could be out of work by this time next season.

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this for a while now. I’ve heard lots of chatter suggesting it was Katz’ kid that made the Yakupov pick. While it would surprise me if this were true, I’m fairly certain that if he was in a position to make a strong case for Yakupov, it’s probably because he spent a lot of time reading this blog and others prior to the draft. The best source for relevant information if you were planning to make a strong case for why drafting Yakupov was the right idea was, for lack of a better term, us.

  52. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Lowetide,

    I think Yak and Slepy were our only two that played last year.

    The thing I found impressive is the number of later picks that the teams I mentioned have playing.

    The Hawks have several later picks playing for USAan area the oilers don’t pick from since Stu.

    Edmonton often picks overagers during those rounds. No idea if it is Stu’s doing, but Oilers 2010+ have been spending them on guys who have some age.

  53. Pouzar says:

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@okcbarons 4m4 minutes ago
    BREAKING: #OKCBarons have recalled Connor and Kellen Jones from @Condors.

  54. Rod from Viking says:

    Lowetide,

    I thought you would like the seem to be dressing room adversaries traded together, the Oilers do need a true top six power forward whether you trade Hall or not, I also would imagine Dougie Hamilton is untouchable.

  55. Lowetide says:

    Rod from Viking:
    Lowetide,

    I thought you would like the seem to be dressing room adversaries traded together,the Oilers do need a true top six power forwardwhether you trade Hall or not, I also would imagine Dougie Hamilton is untouchable.

    Ha. I’d love Hall as a Bruin. Seriously.

  56. frjohnk says:

    dangilitis:
    I agree with all you say lt. However what if they did draft Eichel or McDavid and then had rnh draisaitl McDavid and Gordon up the middle? Yes many youth but how else do you incorporate these guys in the lineup? That’s a dilemma. I guess playing winger didn’t hurt seguin but I’m not sure that sending a generational talent back to junior is the right play (although I hear Eichel wants to finish college?) and not sure that playing as a winger in the rookie season is the right play. A chipchura for insurance would be clever for sure but I don’t think you want to overpay or spend too much effort at center when the d and goaltending situation is more dire. Ideally all are addressed but one smart goalie pick up would be the best single move they could make in he next 9 months, no?

    I have been looking at some goalies save % in some different disciplines like home plate.

    Interesting to see that some goalies see quite a bit less amounts of home plate shots than other goalies. Here are the top 8 goalies with at least 40 games last 3 years
    Percentage of shots faced from home plate

    Ben Bishop 34.5%
    Tuukka Rask 38.7%
    Niklas Backstrom 39.3%
    Pekka Rinne 39.5%
    Robin Lehner 39.8%
    Josh Harding 39.9%
    Jonathan Bernier 39.9%
    James Reimer 39.9%

    Here is overall rank of save % over the last 3 years for those guys above.
    Ben Bishop 1
    Tukka Rask 2
    Niklas Backstrom 35
    Pekka Rinne 26
    Robin Lehner 8
    Josh Harding 7
    Jonathon Bernier 11
    James Reimer 34

    Henrik Lundquist is a beauty. Sees 46.5% of his shots from home plate. But is 5th in overall save percentage. He is number 1 in save percentage from home plate.! (88.5%) Absolute King!

    Some teams like the oilers have allowed almost 50% of all shots from home plate.

    So we need to find a goalie who is good at home plate

    Best UFA goalie with more than 50 games played over the last three years save % in home plate?

    Devan Dubnyk. Yup.

    Anti Neimi is below average in this discpline and 41.8% of his shots have been from home plate. So Neimi’s good save percentage could be bouyed by more perimeter shots.
    Neimi’s numbers when looking at this exercise look like Scrivens.

    League average save % from home plate is 85.5%
    League average save % from perimeter is 95.8%

    Neimi save % Perimeter Shots 96.1%
    Scrivens save % Perimeter Shots 96.1%

    Neimi save % HP 84.5%
    Scrivens save % HP 84.0%

    Both were above league average in perimeter shot save %, but below in home plate save %.

    Enroth might be a better bet than Neuvirth as Enroth has a home plate save % of 86.9% compared to Neuvirths 85.9%

  57. dannyboy says:

    In my opinion
    Only consider moving hall when you have Mcdavid. Strength down the middle is more powerful than strength on the wing. Is Lucic Hamilton and Subban an overpayment? I wouldn’t hear offers that weren’t over payments. Hall is a top 4 or 5 LW in the world and at wicked contract and coming into peak years.

  58. The Full Nelson says:

    Boy oh boy, are Oiler fans going to get sick of this Ehlers fellow, when he lands in the NHL.

  59. Derek says:

    Heads up guys, Edmonton’s next best hope Jack Eichel, is hitting the ice against Sweden in 15 minutes.

  60. And your name is? says:

    As I’ll be reading Seligman’s recent book Flourish any day now, I decided to review the flow literature.

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on flow, intrinsic motivation, and happiness

    We have done so many different studies and each one is interesting in its own way. In the last one that we did, we published several articles from was the study of internet chess and how people play. We asked people who played against each other to fill out how much flow they had in the game afterwards. In a week we collected over 1000 games and it was a good way to study whether our hypothesis was correct. Our hypothesis was that the greatest enjoyment would come when the two players were exactly matched in terms of their skill level because that means that the challenges and skills were equal for both players. We found that was almost true, but it was even better if the opponent was about 70%7% better than you were.

    When playing against better players, the curve of enjoyment went down very slowly, but if you played against a worse player the curve went down precipitously. That is you enjoy playing someone who is 100 points better than you but not against someone who is 100 points lower. That was a nice little breakthrough in theory because all psychological theories explain play as a way of boosting self-esteem by winning, because that’s the point of the game is to win. In fact, it’s not. When you play against somebody that much better than you, you win only about 30% of the time, but when you win you feel much better. If you win against somebody worse than you, you don’t feel better and if you lose you feel much worse. That was an elegant set of experiments that were real life experiments.

    And here he thought that Drai was in the optimal learning environment. Sure hope MacT got a tiny bubble level for xmas that he can affix to his eyewear.

    ———

    I was watching two squirrels run the base paths in our back yard this morning.

    Squirrel #1: But I don’t get it!

    Squirrel #2: Okay, it’s easy, don’t panic. Just replace in your mind the bags with wooden poles or tree trunks with no low-hanging branches.

    Squirrel #1: Oh, why didn’t you say so in the first place! This whole game makes sense now. Except for the part about all the wolves running off to chase after some loose ball for a short but safe interval. Please explain that part again.

    One squirrel was simulating the base runner, the other squirrel was simulating both sides of the rundown. I think it was an exercise in early-morning squirrel jumping jacks.

    The BBQ below the sun room window and the three trees in our backyard form a miniature baseball diamond with the base paths about 10 m long. First base is fir, second base is pine, and third base is a geriatric apple tree with so many saplings to nowhere it amounts to apple-tree Einstein hair. There’s a hardwood stump that predates our time here that might have once been his older brother.

    Even when they dart around on the lawn, the squirrels almost exclusively confine themselves to running the base paths.

    ———

    People would rather be electrically shocked than left alone with their thoughts

    The researchers then decided to take the experiment a step further. For 15 minutes, the team left participants alone in a lab room in which they could push a button and shock themselves if they wanted to. The results were startling: Even though all participants had previously stated that they would pay money to avoid being shocked with electricity, 67% of men and 25% of women chose to inflict it on themselves rather than just sit there quietly and think, the team reports online today in Science.

    I had a shocking apparatus as a child, which hurt just enough that you didn’t want to do it again right away, even though I usually did. The clapper ran at about 2–3 Hz. If you put one electrode into a basin of water and you gripped the other tightly, your wet hand would clench involuntarily no matter how hard you tried. My little brother and sister never managed to retrieve my quarter. Soon I realized I didn’t even have to bother with the glue.

    I got my own back one time when I had a tiny accident with the 30 kV ignition coil of my adolescent years. The tiny accident involved discovering that nominal insulators sometimes become switch hitters at sufficiently high voltages.

    With nothing at all but my own thoughts, I’m good for about six hours (this happens often). With so much as a pen (ideally a four-colour job) and a pad of paper, I’m good for about a week if I were pressed into it.

    Long term it’s hard to say, though. If the internet is anywhere within reach, I generally have about a dozen cords of firewood stacked in my mental back yard awaiting the carving knife. After a month of solitude with no influx, I’d be reduced to burning acorns. Long attention span, large reserves, high burn rate. After a short span on the acorn diet, I’d probably have a bad week during which I compulsively studied the minutest vibrations of the minute hand after each interminable thunk. Then I suppose I’d get a creative second wind, kind of like switching into boredom ketosis.

    Of course, not everyone in the modern world uses electronic media to stack hardwood for a rainy dry-spell.

    Mihaly: Unfortunately there is such a thing as what we call junk flow. Junk flow is when you are actually becoming addicted to a superficial experience that may be flow at the beginning, but after a while becomes something that you become addicted to instead of something that makes you grow.

    The Greek philosopher Plato wrote a thousand years ago that the greatest challenge for teachers and parents is to teach young people to find pleasure in the right things. He called it pleasure, but actually what he meant was enjoyment. The problem is that it’s much easier to find pleasure or enjoyment in things that are not growth-producing but are attractive and seductive. After a while you get trapped by a cycle of short term bursts of excitement, and then it becomes a habit; and now you feel bad if you can’t play, but you don’t feel good when you can play.

    This growth business is a hard taskmaster. When I read Lowetide’s xmas post, I feel that I want to become a better person. Then I think about all the words that weren’t my best words, and I realize that the growth signal doesn’t take a day off when you get out of bed on the wrong side. There are days the growth habit is going to take you places you wish you did not have to go. The pay off, I guess, is that the day comes along when the sophomoric juxtaposition of sasquatch crop circles magically takes flight as as farcical meditation on a mythical creature’s capacity to remain faultlessly inconspicuous functioning as their primary form of sex appeal. How the sasquatch girls must sometimes wonder if their piney Prince Charmings even exist.

  61. Dee Dee says:

    The Oiler’s tried to jump start a total rebuild by drafting a teamfull of rookies and tossing them into the NHL.

    When MacT took over he tried to rectify this problem by hiring one of the upcoming smartest new coaches that he could, you can certainly see what he was trying to accomplish.

    The new stud coach arrives wanting to play a PHD level system but the problem is the players are still in grade school, professionally, and don’t have the faintest clue about what he is trying to get them to do. And then they give him two assistant coaches that were long past their expiry dates, if they should have ever been there at all.

    Throw in some commands from above, about who to play and sit, who to sit down, and you end up with what we got.

    Heads should roll over what happened. The coach paid the price, the GM has been given a little more time, but there is something very very wrong with the Oilers.

    And if the owner refuses to acknowledge this and do something about it then he will pay the price.

    Accountability has to return to this organization, from top to bottom.

    The plan failed.

    The rebuild died.

    To change a few minor parts without addressing the root of the problem dooms this team to yet another cycle of hopelessness.

    Accountability starts with individuals in the organization being accountable for their actions and being rewarded for their accomplishments (or lack there of) appropriately.

    The GM of this ship should be allowed to do his GM job without higher ups dictating their wishes, same goes for the coach.

    The top of this organization has zero accountability, yet holds ultimate power.

    This is not a recipe for success.

    Name one President of any professional organization in any sport who was allowed to preside over a shit show of monumental proportions as the Oilers, I certainly can’t.

    Accountability would take a major step forward if the person would do the right thing and fall on his sword because he failed, and failed miserably.

    When the weak link is at the top of the chain it doesn’t really matter what happens below it.

    March 5th, 2007 he sent the Tier 1 fans a letter after trading away Ryan Smyth:

    Hi, this is Kevin Lowe.

    After a very eventful week around the hockey club, I wanted to take a moment and communicate to you, our most valued customers, our continued commitment to success.

    As I stated last week, our hockey club will always do what we feel is in the best interest of our fans, and in the best interest of building a Stanley Cup championship team here in Oil Country.

    Right now, we have a core group of veteran players and a wealth of emerging young talent. Last week’s trade brought us two more young players in Robert Nilsson and Ryan O’Marra, and another first round draft choice in this year’s NHL draft. They will join players like Pouliot, Jacques, Stortini, Brodziak, and Schremp, just to name a few, as potential members of a championship Oilers club. Certainly, along the way, we will add to our roster through trades and free agency when the right opportunities are there, now that we have the resources to do so. Make no mistake; our plan is to return the Stanley Cup to Edmonton.

    We have an exciting future ahead of us all, and we look forward to sharing it with you.

    Thanks again for your ongoing support of Oilers Hockey.

    Just look at the names mentioned in his letter.

    That one failed.

    And so did the current one.

    How many tries should one person get?

    And don’t mention “patience”.

    The only thing different from the 2007 letter is that the team has better players (in theory) and is lower in the standings.

    8 years.

    And the story has not changed one bit, only the player names

  62. PaperKurtRussell says:

    sliderule,

    Curtis Hamilton once played in wjc, so did Colton Tuebert. Not always a sure sign of great drafting. Just saying.

  63. supernova says:

    question to everybody,

    we clearly need a goalie. I cant figure them out for the life of me. If we are targeting a long term option, which is the best option?

    I circle to Robin Lehner.

    Ottawa has a goalie they like and although he is older it could be possible to get Lehner.

    the other Goalie to go get in my opinion is Bobrovsky. although highly unlikely.

    Columbus might not have the actual cash to handle all their players but I would expect Bob to be off the trade market altogether.

    thoughts?

  64. russ99 says:

    Our biggest need still is a true #1 defenseman who can play well against thre toughest and contribute on the offensive side. Bigger than center, bigger than goaltender – especially since there’s usually 2-4 good ones available for signing or trade every summer.

    So what’s the plan to get one? Hope that Nurse is the guy? That leads us down the same path we’re on now, and who knows what we’ll get at the end.

    IMO, this team needs to make another Pronger-like move to move towards respectability again. The tough question is what would we realistically need to give up? Will it take a Hall?

  65. VOR says:

    Supernova,

    Keith Kincaid.

  66. VOR says:

    Supernova,

    Or Magnus Hellberg.

  67. misfit says:

    The last thing I want to do is watch another last place season, but this is the year to finish 30th.

    The Oilers may be looking for a center, but as much as you turn your nose up at the idea, drafting McDavid would be enough to fix the depth at center. McDavid isnt your typical 18 year old and will likely be able to have real success at the NHL level in the 2C role with Gordon taking the hell minutes and Nuge in the #1 slot. Draisaitl may not be 2C material this year, but next year he would be #4 with a year of NHL seasoning. If he shifts to the wing, or spends the year in the AHL, then Arcobello is your 4. Definitely within his capabilities IMO.

    Of course, despite how far behind we are, I wouldn’t be shocked to see us finish 29th with someone behind us wining the lottery.

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